The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

God Sees Your Sin, Pt. 1

One of the fallacies that is repeated in many churches is that when you become a Christian, all sins–past, present, and future–are forgiven, and God no longer acknowledges your present or future sin.

This belief, although prevalent today, does not adhere to either logic or Scripture.

To embrace this doctrine is to assume that God cares so little about His own righteous laws and the people He created, that he gives a blank check–a license to sin– to all who were ever sorry for sin at one time.

The reason this error (that God doesn’t see our sin) is so readily embraced is because people WANT to believe it. Often they want to believe it is because they don’t want to give up their sin. But it simply isn’t true. If you are a sinner clinging to this refuge of lies, please understand that any false refuge will disappoint you in the day of judgment.  It is imperative for you to know and obey the truth if you want to be truly free.

Do we really think that the righteous moral Governor of the universe, whose laws are good and right and lead to the happiness of all men, forgives criminals in such a way that they can continue to be criminals against God and men without consequence?  Is the God of Love willing to pardon criminals unconditionally, even while they continue their crimes against others? How loving is that toward those being sinned against?  Would any earthly government worth its own salt operate this way–freely pardoning criminals who have no intention of stopping their crimes? Would you want a child molester pardoned once for all, even if he continued to molest? How loving or merciful would that be to the children he continued to hurt? Wise love must look out not only for the transgressor’s welfare, but also for the welfare of those who have been hurt by the transgression, and those who will continue to be hurt if the transgressor’s heart is not changed.  The criminal must stop committing crimes.

A sinner is a person who breaks God’s laws (I Jn. 3:4). The reason he needs to be forgiven and “saved” is because he has not obeyed the law of God, but has chosen his own way and justly deserves death.  The reason there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood is because sin is very serious!! Simply pardoning a criminal does not erase the crime already committed, nor does it always reform the criminal’s heart to curb future offenses. The shedding of innocent blood for the guilty (under both Old Covenant and New Covenant) was meant to bring about a heart change in the criminal–he must hate the crime he committed, recognizing that it brought harm to everything that is good, if he is ever to become a voluntarily law-abiding citizen–and this is God’s goal, to make voluntary law-abiding citizens in His Kingdom!  In fact, all “things that offend, and them which do iniquity” will be cast out of His Kingdom into a furnace of fire (Matt. 13:41-42).  The Kingdom of God is for those who willingly submit to its King.  The blood of Jesus displayed the tremendous mercy of God toward His enemies, and is meant to produce a holy hatred for sin in the repentant soul.  It is able to cleanse away not only the sin committed but also guilt in the conscience.

The giving of oneself to sin/lawlessness produces slavery in the soul (Rom. 6:16). A man needs supernatural help to escape from this slavery. And so God sent His Word to heal us, He proclaimed His gospel of salvation to us, and He shed His own blood to change our hearts from rebellious to submissive, to atone for sin, and to erase the guilt of our past crimes so that we are free to serve Him as fully forgiven children.

Past crimes? Not present and future crimes too?

Christ Jesus:  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the REMISSION OF SINS THAT ARE PAST, through the forbearance of God. (Rom. 3:24-25)

While it is true that the body of Jesus Christ was offered “once for all” (Heb. 10:10), when we come repenting of a life of rebellion against God, we come to the King and ask forgiveness for having been lawless citizens in the past. It should be understood that we must lay down our arms and surrender if we wish to be pardoned!  We come as those whose hearts have been moved and changed by the self-sacrifice of this King–though we once proudly resisted Him, now we know He is all-wise, all-loving, all-merciful, and worthy to be obeyed. We come ready to submit to the King’s commands from henceforth because we know that in His commands is life (John 12:50).   We come as those sorrowful for our past sins, ready and willing to take His good yoke upon us and learn from Him the way we should walk in–we intend to be lawless citizens no more. Beloved, if we do not come to the King of the Universe this way, we do not receive a real salvation. Sorrow for sin brings repentance unto salvation (2 Cor. 7:10), and this salvation is the salvation from sin’s bondage. It is not merely a get-out-of-jail-free card. No, Jesus did not die so that you could admit you are a sinner, say “thanks” in a trite prayer, and continue to sin without consequence. He died to set you free from sin, to purify for Himself a peculiar people who are zealous to do good (Titus 2:14). He commands you to abide in Him and follow Him continually, so that you can produce good fruit instead of the evil fruit you produced when you followed your flesh!

Listen to the inspired words of Peter:

His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature (holiness!), having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if (IF!) these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Unfruitfulness will lead you to being separated from the Vine and thrown into the fire!–John 15.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be burned!–Matt. 3:10)

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (Purged from old sins, not future sins.)

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if (IF!) ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2 Pet. 1:3-11)

Clearly, there are conditions to never falling. The doctrine that all sin–past, present, and future–is forgiven in a moment, and God chooses to blind Himself to our behavior for the rest of our lives, is a doctrine that reassures sinners and encourages them to stay on the wide road that leads to destruction.  When they experience guilt for their sin, they tell themselves there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, forgetting that the rest of the verse defines “those in Christ Jesus” as being those who are not obeying their flesh, but are obeying the Spirit of God. (Rom. 8:1, KJV) Sometimes they try rebuking the devil for their guilt, instead of confessing and stopping the sin that is causing the problem!

Walking with Christ (salvation) is characterized by freedom from sin and willingly serving righteousness.  Though we used to yield our bodies as servants of sin, now we yield our bodies as servants of righteousness unto holiness (Rom. 6:18, 19).  He that commits sin is of the devil, and Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (sin) in our lives, not to merely overlook them. Only he that does what is righteous is considered righteous in the eyes of the Lord, which are in every place, beholding both the evil and the good (I Jn 3:1-9; Prov. 15:3).

Now, it is still possible to sin after being reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore–

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (I John 2:1-6)

The goal is to sin not, but if a man sins, he can be reconciled to God through the advocate Jesus Christ, returning to keeping His commandments once again, and walking as Christ walked. His sin can be cleansed away–

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (I Jn. 1:9)

Jesus, as the Good Shepherd, guides us and corrects us. We have a responsibility to listen to His voice and follow Him (Jn. 10:27), submitting to His correction if we go astray.

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (Prov. 3:11-12)

The Lord chastens us “for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness,” without which, no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:10,14). But–hear this warning–”he, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” (Prov. 29:1)

There are more passages of Scripture that teach that our present and future behavior has a direct bearing on our final salvation, and these we will discuss in a future post. God bless you!

 

 

2 Responses to “God Sees Your Sin, Pt. 1”

  1. Such thoughts are given from God, supported squarely by scripture, edifying, and exhortive- that we may grow in Jesus, and be His peculiar people, fully furnished unto all good works. If we walk in this light, we will surely be ridiculed by the worldly, carnally minded enemies of God. Wear such war wounds like a crown.

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